Cordell Hull Folk Festival is May 24
The Upper Cumberland’s summer begins with the Cordell Hull Folk Festival on Saturday, May 24 in Byrdstown. Enjoy bluegrass and gospel music, clogging, old fashion dress, storytelling, handcrafted gifts and living history as you are encouraged to visit the modest log cabin birthplace of Cordell Hull, a Nobel Prize-winning Tennessean also known as “Father of the United Nations.” Other highlights of the day include guided hikes to historic Bunkum Cave, and a live raptor program. Food, music and fun will begin at 10:00 a.m. CDT and continue throughout the day. A special evening of storytelling and music will begin at 6:00 p.m. CDT as Nashville singer/songwriter Mark Elliott will be performing the world release of “Cordell,” the song he wrote for the famous Nobel Laureate. For more information contact Robin Peeler at (931) 864-3247.
The Cordell Hull Birthplace and Museum is a historic site owned by the State of Tennessee. It was placed under the TN Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Parks in June 1997 by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly. The site is located on 45-acres on the Highland Rim, near Byrdstown, north of Cookeville, near the Kentucky border.
The site consists of a representation of Hull's log cabin birthplace, an activities center and a museum housing documents and artifacts. Also on the park is beautiful Bunkum Cave Trail leading to an overlook and the actual entrance of historic Bunkum Cave where Cordell Hull's father made moonshine years ago. The collection includes his Nobel Peace Prize that is on display.
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Historic Park Management Plan
Spring Wildflower Walks - March 22, 29 &
April 5, 12, 19
Cordell Hull Folk Festival - May 24
Old Fashioned Christmas at the Birthplace - December 11
Link to details for 2008 Special Events
Bunkum Cave Trail was dedicated June 8, 2006 and was built by Americorps*NCCC, numerous volunteers, and state park staff. The trail is rated moderate due to many gentle hills. The hike to the overlook is 3/4 mile (1.5 miles roundtrip), and the hike to the cave entrance is an additional ½ mile (2.5 miles roundtrip). Meandering through the mixed deciduous forest, the hiker may be able to view a variety of plant and animal life. Spring wildflowers in late March - early May are exceptional. The view of the cave is most impressive, the entrance measures 100 feet wide and 50 feet tall. Visitors are welcome to explore the beginning of the cave but are required to obtain a permit from the park office to venture past the cave entrance.
Cordell Hull (October 2, 1871-July 23, 1955) was born in a log cabin in Pickett County, Tennessee, the third of the five sons of William and Elizabeth (Riley) Hull. His father was a farmer and subsequently a lumber merchant. The only one of the five boys who showed an interest in learning, Cordell wanted to be a lawyer. He obtained his elementary school training in a one-room school that his father had built in nearby Willow Grove; then for a period of about three years, he attended in succession the Montvale Academy at Celina, Tennessee, the Normal School at Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio. He received a law degree in 1891 after completing a one-year course at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Elected to Congress from the Fourth Tennessee District in 1907, Hull served as a U.S. Representative until 1931. He was elected U.S. Senator for the 1931-37 term but resigned upon his appointment as Secretary of State by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 4, 1933. He was sixty-two. Ill health forced Hull to resign from office on November 27, 1944 before final ratification of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco. President Roosevelt praised Secretary Hull as "the one person in all the world who has done the most to make this great plan for peace an effective fact."
THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Following nomination by Roosevelt, the Norwegian Nobel Committee presented the 1945 Nobel Prize for Peace to Hull in recognition of his work in the Western Hemispheres, for his international trade agreements, and for his efforts in establishing the United Nations.
There are 10 picnic tables and 5 grills available at the park site. The picnic area may be reserved for large groups. Reservations are taken up to one week in advance.
Contact the park at 931-864-3247.
Tour buses are welcome.